The Portobello Road Market is one of the most famous markets in Europe, and it has a fascinating history. It began as many other markets in London did in the 19th century, selling mainly fresh food. In the 1940s and 1950s, antique and object dealers began to arrive, and antiques gradually became the main attraction of the market. Saturdays are the busiest trading days, with over 1000 merchants based there.
The market still retains its fresh food origins, and five different sections have formed over time. It is a paradise for seekers, with stores after stores, corridors and aisles full of products for sale. Like Camden Market, Portobello Market is actually many markets in one, divided by their locations and the specific products they sell. Here you will find stalls typical of other London markets: clothing, cheap jewelry, books and the like.
The Portobello Road Market is open every day of the week, so you can visit it any time you want. It attracts thousands of tourists, antique collectors and interior decorators every year, looking for the many bargains on offer. Occasionally, antique dealers open earlier on Saturdays, as this is usually the busiest day of the week for the Portobello Road Market.The development on and around Portobello Road was more erratic than neighboring areas such as Paddington, where exclusive residential areas were planned and built. Stores and markets emerged as a reaction to the area becoming a hub for wealthy Paddington residents to shop.
Today, Portobello Road thrives both economically and with the tourist trade.